Writing CV

How to Clean a Fish - And Other Adventures in Portugal by Esmeralda Cabral

How to Clean a Fish: And Other Adventures in Portugal

Our easy-going and approachable narrator gives us a charming and entertaining book that is part travelogue, part memoir. Readers will find themselves cheering Esmeralda—and her family—on.

Scott Edward Anderson, author of Falling Up and Azorean Suite

Photo Credit: Ayelet Tsabari

Print Publications

  • "We should learn to travel less extensively, but more mindfully," in The Globe and Mail, Opinion, July 8, 2023
  • A People of Saudade,” in Hyphenated Generation, The Soap Box Press, Toronto, 2021
  • "No Joke Float" in Canadian Traveller, Summer/Fall 2020
  • A Taste of Home,” in Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food, edited by Rachel Rose, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2017
  • The Pull of the Azores,” in Wherever I Find Myself: Stories by Canadian Immigrant Women, Caitlin Press, Vancouver, 2017
  • A Hard Landing,” in Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora of Canada and the United States, Boa Vista Press, USA, 2015
  • Losing My Sister,” in Mess: The Hospital Anthology, Tightrope Books, Toronto, 2014
  • Three Candles for the Virgin Mary” in Memória: An Anthology of Portuguese Canadian Writers, Fidalgo Books, Vancouver, 2013
  • Memories of Winter in Edmonton” in 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology, Wufniks Press, Edmonton, 2013
  • Small Fish to Fry”, in Writers and Artists Do Food, Red Claw Press, Nova Scotia, 2011
  • Mother of Mother”, in emerge: The Writer’s Studio Anthology, SFU, Vancouver, 2010
  • Au Revoir Quebec, Facts and Arguments, Globe and Mail, 2009
  • Lives Lived, Globe and Mail 2009
  • São Miguel’s Art in Clay: Pottery from Lagoa,” In Paralelo 38, SATA Air Azores In-flight Magazine, Ponta Delgada, Azores, 2000
  • How Sweet It Is: Savouring São Miguel’s Hot House Pineapples”; Paralelo 38, SATA Air Azores In-Flight Magazine, Ponta Delgada, Azores, 1999



  • “To My Parents with Love”, Outfront, CBC Radio, 2007
  • “Sisters: A Personal Essay”, First Person Singular, CBC Radio, 2002

Writing-Related Activities

  • Facilitator of EU Book Club (Portugal), Vancouver, 2019 - present
  • Founder and host of Palavras, an evening of words about Portugal and the Portuguese, Vancouver, 2019 – 2022
  • Second-round Reader, TWUC Annual Short Prose Competition, 2021
  • First Reader, Prism International, Writing Contests, 2019 - 2020
  • Volunteer Venue Manager, Growing Room Literary Festival, Vancouver, 2019
  • Workshop co-presenter, Litfest NewWest - “Mining Personal Artefacts as the Foundation for Memoir Writing”, New Westminster, 2016
  • Manuscript Consultant – WORD Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library, and Southbank Writing Program, 2012 - 2013
  • Mentor Apprentice, Narrative Nonfiction Group, The Writer’s Studio, SFU, 2012
  •  Co-host, The Writer’s Studio Reading Series, Vancouver, 2011 – 2012
  • Organizer and host, emerge, Vancouver Writers Festival, Vancouver, 2010
  • Counsellor, Writing and Book Camp for Children and Teens, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, 2010
  • Federation of BC Writers, Volunteer at Word on the Street, Vancouver, 2010

Readings and Speaking Engagements

  • Delta Literary Arts Society, Ink Well Told - Writers in Conversation Series, hosted by JJ Lee, November, 2023
  • Author Reading with paulo da costa at Shelf Life Books, Calgary, November, 2023
  • WGA Author Reading with Meaghan Hackinen, Rooster Kitchen and Bar, Edmonton, November, 2023
  • TWS Reading Series, Container Brewing, from How to Clean a Fish, November, 2023
  • Invited panel member, Cagarro Colloquium, Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute, Fresno State University, 2021
  •  Invited reader – “75 Voices in 30 Days for National Poetry Month in the USA,” Zoom Event, 2021
  • Panel Member – “O Que Faz Falta – The Carnation Revolution and the Portuguese Diaspora in North America,” Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute, Fresno State University, Zoom Event, 2021
  • Invited Speaker, Esther Birney Lecture Series, Brock House Society, Vancouver, 2020
  • Invited Reader, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS) Breaking Ground Event,Vancouver, 2018
  • Caitlin Press Launch of Wherever I Find Myself: Stories of Canadian Immigrant Women, VPL Main Branch, 2017
  • Invited Reader, ILSC Language School, Graduation Ceremony, 2017
  • Anvil Press Launch of Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food VPLibrary, Strathcona Br., 2017
  • TWS Reading Series, Cottage Bistro, Vancouver, “A Hard Landing,” 2016
  • TWS Reading Series, Cottage Bistro, Vancouver, “Arrival in Costa,” 2015
  • Reading, Launch of Memória, Portuguese Canadian Anthology, Cottage Bistro, Vancouver, “Three Candles for the Virgin Mary,” 2013
  • TWS Reading Series, Cottage Bistro, Vancouver, “So This is Lisbon,” 2012
  • Reading, Disquiet Literary Program, Lisbon, Portugal, “Small Fish to Fry,” 2012
  • Reading, CNFC Cabaret, CNFC Conference, Banff, Alberta, “Small Fish to Fry,” 2011
  • TWS Reading Series, Rhizome Café, Vancouver, “Going Home,” 2011
  • Reading, emerge at Vancouver Writer’s Festival, Waterfront Theatre, Vancouver, “Mother of Mother,” 2010
  • Reading, Sneak Preview of emerge, Cottage Bistro, Vancouver, “Mother of Mother,” 2010
  • TWS Reading Series, Rhizome Café, Vancouver, “What I learned in Grade Two,” 2010
  • TWS Student Reading, SFU, Vancouver, “Outstanding in the Field,” 2010
  • TWS Reading Series, Take 5 Café, Vancouver, “The Silver Dodge,” 2010

Scholarships, Awards and Residencies

  • Obras Foundation Portugal – Artist Residency in Evoramonte, Portugal, October, 2019 and 2022
  • Disquiet International Literary Program – Lisbon, Portugal, 2012


  • The Writer’s Union of Canada
  • Creative Nonfiction Collective
  • Federation of BC Writers
  • Writer's Guild of Alberta


  • MFA in Creative Nonfiction, The University of King’s College, Halifax, NS, 2019
  • TESOL Certificate, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, BC, 2013
  • Certificate in Creative Writing, The Writer’s Studio, Simon Fraser University , Vancouver, BC, 2010
  • Master of Arts, Environmental Studies, UBC, Vancouver, BC, 1996
  • Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), The University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 1984